Girls Season 5 Episode 1 recap

Here was my thought as I watched the season premiere of Girls: even knowing that Marnie was going to be ridiculous because = bride, I was surprised by how real everything felt. That is, each individual reaction isn’t that outsized. Yes, Marnie’s a cliché—but anyone who has ever criticized Allison Williams’ acting has never met someone as brittle as Marnie. The pivot when she says ‘let me take this again’ is brilliant.

But more importantly, the things she’s complaining about aren’t that unusual. That her makeup is horrendous is true. That her mother is pushy and obstreperous…yes. That Fran is hanging out with the bridesmaids—I took this not so much as a ‘women only’ issue because, let’s be honest, Marnie likes to be adored by whomever, but the feeling I get is that, even this long (however long) since we’ve seen everyone, Fran is still very much a stranger. He’s not a part of things.

It kind of means the other complaints are relevant, too. Hannah doesn’t have to wear stupid sh*t in her hair, and as much as we can separate her from Lena Dunham I’d really love to believe that Hannah cut her hair to annoy Marnie. It’s awkward to see Adam and those dresses are dumb. All of these complaints are real. All of our characters are acting like real people, especially Ray, who says he’s not man enough to break up Marnie’s wedding, even though he knows it’s a farce (and, like all the best douches in the world, Desi knows exactly how much of a douche he is and proceeds accordingly).

So, all of these tiny, petty concerns—my teeth were on edge every time Selena Gomez was mentioned, too—are the sort of dressing, the stuff you talk about because you realize the big stuff is really big and really real. Fran might be in it for the long haul. Tokyo might be changing Shoshanna for the terminally irritating instead of just the momentarily irritating. Jessa…well, Jessa might become functional, I guess, which would upset the balance of everything, too.

But don’t be mad at Marnie for insisting on a ‘curated’ wedding. Thinking about the little things, as we all do, keeps her from focusing too much on the big things, and whether she is making a big mistake, and while of course she is, that’s part of life. You can’t not make mistakes and expect to get anywhere.

But everyone in this episode, including Adam and Jessa kissing in the hard-to-hide sunshine, knows they’re not fooling around as much anymore. This is more serious, more important. Which makes it scarier. Which makes it better.